Saturday, April 6, 2013

happy half-birthday alice!

yesterday was alices half birthday, she is now officially one and a half. we didnt have any exciting plans for the day (just the doctors office for her 18 month checkup, which made me feel very organized), and it didnt feel right to not do anything special. so i decided early that morning that wed have alices favorite dinner, hummus and flatbread (recipe here), and then id make half a cake. you know, cause its her half birthday (commence forced laughter).

remember how in my last post i mentioned that i do all my baking from scratch? well that includes cake. and frosting. i do this for two reasons: one, convenience, we always have all the baking staples (butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.) in stock, just in case we need to bake something (it happens more often than you think), so we never have to run out to buy any mixes. two, i get to avoid all the preservatives and chemical crap thats in all the boxed mixes, which helps me rationalize how much cake we eat, since, you know, its "healthier" if its made from scratch. (note: im not entirely sure if this is actually any cheaper than buying the boxed mix, its just my preference)

so heres the cake i made: 

basically all i did was make a single 8 inch yellow cake, cut it in half, and stacked and frosted the two semicircle cakes in the same manner one would do to a regular cake. this seemed easy enough in my mind, though i didnt realize that my favorite yellow cake recipe (from the good housekeeping cookbook, which, if you dont have it, i highly recommend you go buy it, its the best) made two 8 inch layers, and it wasnt possible to cut it in half (it calls for 3 eggs). so i had to scour the internet (ok, just googled) a recipe that resulted in a single layer. honestly it came out kind of dry and crumbly and i was a bit disappointed with it, but it was still cake, and still tasted good. for the frosting i also kind of had to eyeball all the ingredients, since i didnt need a full recipe to frost half a cake. that actually came out much better than expected. also, frosting the cut edge of the cake was kind of a pain, but all in all it came out pretty cute. 

when we got home from the pediatrician (alice is great, by the way), i found an exciting surprise in our mailbox, our free shutterfly prints were here! 

i love shutterfly because if you sign up for their emails, every couple months theyll send you a code for 101 FREE prints, all you have to pay is tax and shipping (if you order only the 101 free prints the total comes out to $7.74). they do this pretty frequently , this was my third order since halloween, and i'm always surprised at the turnaround (i ordered on monday, the arrived friday, even our christmas cards that i ordered in mid december came in just a couple days). this is definitely one of my favorite free things!  im really, REALLY bad at getting our digital photos printed so this has really helped me catch up on alices baby pictures. i guess now i dont have much of an excuse for not making alice a baby book though... remember when i said i dont scrapbook? ha. 

last thing! im really excited to announce that next week ill be doing my first craft tutorial! stay tuned to learn how to make a really cute wedding present!

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